The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has published new Standards of Education and Practice for Community Practice Teaching.

The new Standards comprise a set of benchmarks and guidance outlining the transition from a Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor role to that of a Community Practice Teacher, and distinguish the attributes required for community practice teaching, and the support and educational framework needed for learners undertaking the SPQ/SCPHN.

Leading stakeholders including experts by Experience, Higher Education course/programme leads, practitioners and commissioners from all four countries of the UK have contributed to the project through a Standards Advisory Group, Chaired by Professor John Unsworth OBE, QNI Chair of Council. The project was led and managed by Angie Hack QN.

The Standards align with the four pillars (domains) of advanced practice of the Health Education England Advanced Practice Toolkit Framework. The domain titles for the purpose of these standards are:

  • Domain 1 – Clinical Care
  • Domain 2 – Leadership and Management
  • Domain 3 – Education and Assessing Learning
  • Domain 4 – Evidence, Research and Development

I am delighted that the QNI is able to make this significant contribution to community nursing education through these new Standards. This genuinely collaborative project is a testament to the leadership of registered nurses in education and practice that will support future Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQ) and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) learner development. The Standards make explicit the knowledge framework required to support, supervise and assess a higher level of practice demonstrated by Registered Nurses completing an NMC approved post-registration programme, preparing them to work autonomously and engage in complex decision-making.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI Chief Executive

The development of the QNI standards for Community Practice Teaching has received overwhelming engagement, support and collaboration from diverse partners across practice and education. There was a consensus about the need for new standards supporting an advanced level of practice teaching, to support nurses undertaking an SPQ or SCPHN programme. These new standards will ensure there is a robust basis for contemporary and future education and practice development in place for registered nurses undertaking a SPQ or SCPHN programme.

Angie Hack QN, Standards Project Manager

Background and Summary Methodology

Community practice teaching is normally a role for a community-based practitioner who has undertaken an NMC-approved post registration Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQ) or Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) programme, plus an additional qualification that prepares them to supervise and assess in practice (for example a Post-graduate Certificate in Education).

Since the withdrawal of the NMC Community Nursing Practice Teacher Standards in 2018, the Practice Teacher qualification ceased to be offered by many Higher Education Institutions, impacting adversely on community education and practice at the advanced level. In response to concerns expressed by healthcare provider organisations and educators, the QNI’s Council therefore resolved in 2021 to develop new standards to provide a new articulation of the professional role of community practice teaching.

In September 2021, the QNI undertook a survey of community nurses supervising and assessing registered nurses undertaking SPQ/SCPHN programmes and the views of learners undertaking SPQ/SCPHN programmes. A further survey was undertaken with education leads offering NMC-approved post-registration SPQ and SCPHN programmes and/or Community Practice Teaching education programmes or equivalent. Following the survey analysis, focus groups with learners, practitioners and educators were undertaken, enabling around 400 participants to contribute to the consultation. Following this process, a Standards Reference Group was formed, with individuals representing education and practice from all four UK countries and all SPQ and SCPHN fields of practice, including commissioners and providers.


Notes to Editors

This is the seventh in a series of standards set by the QNI, following the QNI/QNIS Voluntary Standards for District Nurses (2015), Senior General Practice Nurses (2017), Community Children’s Nurses (2018) and Community Learning Disability Nurses (2021), Standards for Nurses New to General Practice Nursing (2020) and Standards for Care Home Nursing (2020). Click here to access all of the QNI’s standards. 

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